Ugly Hope

Moving through loss is messy and unattractive. A few years ago, there was a song made popular by a country singer who lamented her mama’s advice: “Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady.”* Or, as others have said, “fake it till you make it.” There is a certain value in this…

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Starry Night

“I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.” – Mother Teresa Fixed in my gaze are two single stars that hang in the black sky as if preparing to fall into the dazzling smile of a bright crescent moon. Sitting on a back porch and sipping hot mint tea, I hear the…

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Turning Words

I walked through the grocery store, loading my cart as if it were a normal day. The white paper cup in the cart cup holder was stained with dribbles of coffee that had seeped from underneath the white plastic lid. Ruby lipstick residue garishly proclaimed the cup mine. I had just set it down when…

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Holy Stones and Horny Toads

Who knew the small stone would ricochet off the rockface? Before I hurled it, my imagination assured me it would shatter into pieces to mirror the condition of my heart. Instead, the ricochet honors my teetering emotions in the tension of joy and sorrow. 

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Embracing Innocence

 “When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – C.S. Lewis It happened almost every Sunday night. My parents and I would return home from the evening service at church, open the door, and be met by a burst of heat.…

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Wrinkle Cream and Eternal Glory

The cheap, squat container of white cream makes a wild claim: the power to stretch time, to make it elastic and supple. All I have to do is grease my face nightly, submit to the sting, and it will dam the water that is bubbling beneath the surface, conspiring to burst forth and rake my…

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What the Heart Knows

Tightness pulls across my chest as I wrap up documenting progress notes for the last few patients of my day. Documentation is, by far, the part of my job that I love the least. I’ve always said that I love what I do, but I’d love it even more if I didn’t have to write…

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The Space Between

There is a war that rages in my heart between life and death, right and wrong, sorrow and joy, good and bad, faith and fear. I have learned, through prayer and meditation, to love and honor both sides of the war and to rest in the middle ground, where peace is always awaiting my return.…

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When Your Fear is What Heals You

When the world shut down and we all came home, I turned my red desk to face the window. It felt too vulnerable and a tad inappropriate to have so many eyes on my bed behind me. The door seemed an acceptable view for strangers on screens and so, the construction zone across the street…

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